Boulder-based Filtrbox, a Techstars company which just had a coming out party of sorts here today at VCIR, is nearing launch of their content monitoring service. I’ve been using the early product since early on at Techstars and getting critical content updates each morning in my inbox. I’ve sort of come to depend on it, and it saves me a bleary-eyed morning trip to my RSS reader to check my most critical sources. Instead of looking at it source by source, Filtrbox allows me to simply get my most important daily dose of information with no effort. Think of it as sophisticated persistent search, paired down, and delivering only the most relevant content. It’s one level up in sophistication from a simple keyword monitoring tool like Google alerts.
Filtrbox scours both mainstream and new media sites. It’s just as capable of finding an article in the Wall Street Journal or on the smallest of blogs. Because of some neat quick-start technology, users can easily configure filters which define the topics of interest, and Filtrbox uses a proprietary ranking system known as FiltrRank to try to find only the most relevant content. You help influence the FiltRank by providing feedback (both implicit and explicit) on the articles that the system finds. Additionally, filter definitions can then be easily shared with your co-workers or other interested partners.
According to the Filtrbox web site, “The companys mission is to significantly ease the pain and reduce the complexity of tracking mainstream news, blogs and other online content sources for new mentions of your company, your competitors, your industry or even your friends by providing an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated productivity tool.”
Filtrbox has many delivery options beyond simple email and RSS. It also includes a “dashboard” (seen below) that helps you spot trends, manage, and drill down into the articles that the system presents.
Today, Filtrbox announced the completion of seed funding from several investors including FlyWheel Ventures and True Ventures, as well as some angel investors. Disclosure: I am also an investor in Filtrbox, both via Techstars and Colorado Startups, LLC.
While Filtrbox is a subscription based service, the VCIR panel asked about the future product roadmap relating to the metadata which Filtrbox collects. Certainly a long term business model for Filtrbox could be around mining and monetizing the metadata, but while Ari acknowledged this potential path he responded by saying that today they’re simply focused on delivering a great tool to their users.
Filtrbox is still in private beta, but plans to widen their beta in the coming weeks. The CEO and founder, Ari Newman, has extended an invitation to 25 Colorado Startups readers to try the service very soon. If you’d like an invitation to the upcoming open beta in a few weeks, just drop me a note and I’ll pass it along to Ari.